Published March 18th 2015 (first published March 15th 2015)
Holly Walker had everything she’d ever dreamed about – a happy marriage and being mum to beautiful brown-eyed Emma – until an accident nineteen months ago tore her world apart. Now she’s a widow and single mother to a boisterous little 7-year-old girl, looking for a new start. Ready to take the next step, Holly has found herself a job as a maître d’ at Table One, a once-acclaimed restaurant in the heart of Sydney. But one extremely arrogant Frenchman isn’t going to be easy to work with…
Twenty years ago, Pierre LeRoux came to Australia, following the stunning Aussie girl he’d fallen in love with and married. He and his wife put their personal lives on hold, determined for Pierre to take Sydney’s culinary society by storm. Just as his bright star was on the upswing, tragedy claimed the woman he was hopelessly in love with. He had been known as a Master Chef, but since his wife’s death he has become known as Monster Chef.
Can two broken people rebuild their lives and find happiness once more?
Karia’s thoughts…and food order!
I was actually excited for this one, so I thank NetGalley for the delayed, but finally approved ARC. Holly seemed very American/Canadian to me. Her language usage and manners were quite North American…Pierre on the other hand was so French is was tasty!
Each of these wounded souls were looking for a new start. Along the way, they find each other and fight, then kiss, then fight, then kiss, then fight some more! I loved that part. I actually found myself enjoying the banter and wanted more of that. I could see where Pierre had fallen off course, but he was pulling himself out of it. Many people after losing a loved one descend into addictions, and sleeping pills are one of the most addictive drugs often prescribed after traumatic loss. The fact that Pierre gave up the pills on his own, showed to me that he was moving past his mourning.
Addition is a hard topic for me…as many readers of my reviews know. I didn’t get the feeling that he was an addict or an alcoholic, but more so that he was an extremely damaged man with a shattered heart. Addicts/Alcoholicsknow that first drink or first hit or first pull of the slot machine…they may not admit it to themselves but it is a common theme in recovery discussing that they are powerless to the addiction. Pierre used chemicals and scotch to wipe out his pain…different enough for me to move past it and see that he can heal, he can be a good father and he can be a partner of worth!
The story had a few head scratching moments were the angst was contrived for me…but the smexy times MORE than made up for the plot twist that I didn’t like. Pierre is SMOKING hawt and knows how to tell a woman that he wants to go exploring! This is a great fast read…but take my warning: Don’t read on an empty stomach and when Pierre serves dinner…be sure you are not in public! Enjoy!